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I'll rather take what fruit may be
Of sorrow under human skies: "T is held that sorrow makes us wise, Whatever wisdom sleep with thee.
The churl in spirit, up or down
Along the scale of ranks, thro' all, To him who grasps a golden ball, By blood a king, at heart a clown,-
The churl in spirit, howe'er he veil
For who can always act? but he,
To whom a thousand memories call, Not being less but more than all The gentleness he seem'd to be,
Best seem'd the thing he was, and join'd
Nor ever narrowness or spite,
Or villain fancy fleeting by,
And thus he bore without abuse
'Tis held that sorrow makes us wise; Yet how much wisdom sleeps with thee
Which not alone had guided me, But served the seasons that may rise;
For can I doubt, who knew thee keen
I doubt not what thou wouldst have been:
A life in civic action warm,
A soul on highest mission sent,
Should licensed boldness gather force,
Who loves not Knowledge? Who shall rail
Against her beauty? May she mix With men and prosper! Who shall fix
Her pillars? Let her work prevail.
She sets her forward countenance
All barriers in her onward race
A higher hand must make her mild,
For she is earthly of the mind,
But Wisdom heavenly of the soul.
I would the great world grew like thee,
Now fades the last long streak of snow, Now burgeons every maze of quick About the flowering squares, and thick
By ashen roots the violets blow.
Now rings the woodland loud and long,
Where now the seamew pipes, or dives
To build and brood, that live their lives
From land to land; and in my breast
And buds and blossoms like the rest.
Contemplate all this work of Time,
In tracts of fluent heat began,
And grew to seeming-random forms. The seeming prey of cyclic storms, Till at the last arose the man;
Who throve and branch'd from clime to clime,
The herald of a higher race, And of himself in higher place, If so he type this work of time
Within himself, from more to more;
Or, crown'd with attributes of woe Like glories, move his course, and show
That life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And heated hot with burning fears, And dipped in baths of hissing tears, And batter'd with the shocks of doom
To shape and use. Arise and fly
The reeling Faun, the sensual feast; Move upward, working out the beast, And let the ape and tiger die.
There rolls the deep where grew the
O earth, what changes hast thou seen! There where the long street roars hath been
The stillness of the central sea.
The hills are shadows, and they flow From form to form, and nothing stands;
They melt like mist, the solid lands, Like clouds they shape themselves and go.
But in my spirit will I dwell,
And dream my dream, and hold it true; For tho' my lips may breathe adieu, I cannot think the thing farewell.
That which we dare invoke to bless; Our dearest faith; our ghastliest doubt;
He, They, One, All; within, without; The Power in darkness whom we guess,
I found Him not in world or sun,
If e'er when faith had fallen asleep,
A warmth within the breast would melt
No, like a child in doubt and fear:
But that blind clamor made me wise; Then was I as a child that cries, But, crying, knows his father near;
And what I am beheld again
What is, and no man understands; And out of darkness came the hands That reach thro' nature, moulding men.
What ever I have said or sung,
Some bitter notes my harp would give, Yea, tho' there often seem'd to live A contradiction on the tongue,
Yet hope had never lost her youth,
She did but look through dimmer eyes, Or Love but play'd with gracious lies, Because he felt so fix'd in truth;
And if the song were full of care,
He set his royal signet there;
Proclaiming social truth shall spread,
And justice, even tho' thrice again The red fool-fury of the Seine Should pile her barricades with dead.
But ill for him that wears a crown, And him, the lazar, in his rags! They tremble, the sustaining crags; The spires of ice are toppled down,
And molten up, and roar in flood;
The fortress crashes from on high, The brute earth lightens to the sky, And the great on sinks in blood,
And compass'd by the fires of hell ; While thou, dear spirit, happy star, O'erlook'st the tumult from afar, And smilest, knowing all is well.
Dear friend, far off, my lost desire,
Known and unknown, human, divine;
Sweet human hand and lips and eye; Dear heavenly friend that canst not die,
Mine, mine, for ever, ever mine;
Strange friend, past, present, and to be: Loved deeplier, darklier understood; Behold, I dream a dream of good, And mingle all the world with thee.
Thy voice is on the rolling air;
I hear thee where the waters run;
My love involves the love before;
Far off thou art, but ever nigh;
I have thee still, and I rejoice;
I shall not lose thee tho' I die.
O living will that shalt endure
When all that seems shall suffer shock, Rise in the spiritual rock,
Flow thro' our deeds and make them pure,
That we may lift from out of dust
A voice as unto him that hears, A cry above the conquer'd years To one that with us works, and trust,
With faith that comes of self-control, The truths that never can be proved Until we close with all we loved, And all we flow from, soul in soul. 1833-49. 1850.
TO THE QUEEN1
REVERED, beloved-O you that hold
Than arms, or power of brain, or birth Could give the warrior kings of old,
Victoria, since your Royal grace
This laurel greener from the brows
1 Prefixed to the first edition of Tennyson's Poems published after he became Poet Laureate
And should your greatness, and the care
Then-while a sweeter music wakes,
And thro' wild March the throstle calls, Where all about your palace-walls The sun-lit almond-blossom shakes-
Take, Madam, this poor book of song;
And leave us rulers of your blood
"Her court was pure; her life serene;
"And statesmen at her council met
"By shaping some august decree
Lead out the pageant: sad and slow,
And let the mournful martial music blow:
The last great Englishman is low.
Mourn, for to us he seems the last, Remembering all his greatness in the past,
No more in soldier fashion will he greet With lifted hand the gazer in the street. O friends, our chief state-oracle is mute! Mourn for the man of long-enduring blood,
The statesman-warrior, moderate, reso
Whole in himself, a common good.
foremost captain of his time, Rich in saving common-sense, And, as the greatest only are, In his simplicity sublime.
O good gray head which all men knew, O voice from which their omens all men drew,
O iron nerve to true occasion true,
O fallen at length that tower of strength Which stood four-square to all the winds that blew !
Such was he whom we deplore.
seen no more.
All is over and done,
Render thanks to the Giver,
That shines over city and river,
And a reverent people behold
The towering car, the sable steeds. Bright let it be with its blazon'd deeds, Dark in its funeral fold.
Let the bell be toll'd,
And a deeper knell in the heart be knoll'd;
And the sound of the sorrowing anthem roll'd
Thro' the dome of the golden cross;
He knew their voices of old.
For many a time in many a clime
Guarding realms and kings from shame, With those deep voices our dead captain taught
The tyrant, and asserts his claim
In that dread sound to the great name
Preserve a broad approach of fame,
"Who is he that cometh, like an hon or'd guest,
With banner and with music, with sol dier and with priest,
With a nation weeping, and breaking on my rest?"Mighty Seaman, this is he
Was great by land as thou by sea. Thine island loves thee well, thou famous man,
The greatest sailor since our world be gan.
Now, to the roll of muffled drums,
Was great by land as thou by sea.
And barking for the thrones of kings;
On that loud Sabbath shook the spoiler down;
A day of onsets of despair!
Last, the Prussian trumpet blew;